2021 WINNERS

MAGZ HALL

Magz Hall is a radio and sound artist, who works with a focus on expanded radio art in all its forms. She has worked internationally since 2000 having exhibited at YSP, Jerwood Arts, Barbican, Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery, The V and A London, MACBA Barcelona, Place Des Artes Montreal and other galleries and festivals with broadcasts across the world. She is a senior lecturer at CCCU in Canterbury where her practice based research focuses on radio and sound art. In 1998  she helped set up the arts station Resonance FM in London, which started broadcasting full time in 2002. Magz went on to set up Radio Arts to promote radio art and artist radio activity. Magz completed a practice based PhD at UAL in 2015, titled Radio After Radio which looked at hundred years of radio art and made expanded radio works for an imagined vacated FM spectrum after switch over.

“I am delighted. It’s fantastic recognition for radio art and sound art I have been making since 2000, it means that I can start research and development on an exciting new longer term project”

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VIVIENNE GRIFFIN

Vivienne Griffin lives and works in London, frequently moving between Berlin and the West of Ireland. They are an anti-disciplinary artist using sculpture, sound, drawing and writing in various forms including sound poetry, spoken word, extended vocals, videos and augmented reality. 

They regularly change media, materials, and form within their practice. In audio works they engage with the primal act of vocalising sound, fragmented language, spoken word and synthesised vocals. As an Irish person who cannot speak their mother tongue, they use broken English as a defiant act. Words become forms to walk around, sound becomes a sculptural material. The physicality of language and the physics of sound have been a continuous source for audio works, drawings, and sculptures.

“Daphne Oram is a legend, she was a vanguard, it is an honour to win an award in her name. I've worked in the intersection of sound and fine art for some time...The Oram Awards is the perfect space for this kind of practice, as Oram defied expectations around what music could be and defined electroacoustic music, spiritually and physically”

LIA MICE

Dubbed a "pioneer of experimental pop" by Berlin's KALTBLUT Magazine, Lia Mice is expanding the boundaries of electronic music production and digital musical instrument design. A member of the Augmented Instruments Lab, Mice's futuristic-industrial aesthetic can be seen at her live A/V sets where she performs with her self-designed metallic sculptural large-scale digital instruments Prism Bell and Chaos Bells, and heard on her albums that fuse immersive soundscapes with experimental techno-pop. She has performed her instruments and live A/V sets at renowned venues including The Barbican, the V&A Museum, Ars Electronica Festival, The Tate Modern, WOMB (Tokyo) and the Museum of Arts and Design (New York).


With support from the Oram Awards, Lia Mice will push her digital musical instrument design practice into uncharted territories.

“I'm absolutely honoured to receive an Oram Award and join the cohort of radical minority gender and women artists shaking up music and sonic technology”

photo credit: Chris Turner

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LOU BARNELL

Lou is a self-trained neurodivergent artist, influenced by material, colour and the strangeness of the everyday. Her body is a disorientated instrument and navigational tool that composes, scores, and communicates her synaesthetic experiences. Her approach to embodied listening and creating music is called ‘Live Dreaming’ which explores parallels between dream-states and musical performance. Lou merges gestural meditations with biorhythmic data, Max Msp and alchemical sculptures made from ice, bio-plastic and inks to communicate her intense, bizarre experiences of living with a learning difficulty.

In response to the pandemic, she launched IN-PROCESS on Repeater Radio. Womxn artists contribute objects, technology, and music to a collective radio archive; a ‘deep resource’ of counter-narratives and alternative histories.

“It's amazing to be part of the Oram Awards community alongside such incredible creatives. I’m excited by the prospect of developing and touring my work with sculptures, sensors and music and reaching more womxn with the IN-PROCESS archive to amplify underrepresented voices in performance and music”

Photo credit: Stu Allsop

MARIA SAPPHO

Maria Sappho (improviser, pianist, and researcher) works with verbatim collaborative theatrical storytelling with strong perspectives on nature, mythology, feminism, and community.  She is a sound artist whose work is often with sculpture, dance, theatre, film, and currently AI. 

She is a member of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, a founding member of the Noisebringers ensemble, composes as the dual being ‘Mariabrice Sapphocatherin’, curates for the monthly digital/live concert series ‘Mopomoso’, runs the Feminist Free Improvising group (a platform for under-presented improvising artists), and co-edit for the monthly political arts magazine the-mass. 



“With the bursary I will be curating an event to celebrate the global practices of experimental improvised arts. Presented as a hybrid live/digital event the idea is to take advantage of a valuable gift I was given out of this isolating pandemic period – the ability to meet across distance and expand family. The event will present international artists who promote, challenge, and re-define what our experimental futures might be”

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VENUS EX MACHINA

Venus Ex Machina is the alias of Nontokozo F. Sihwa, an electronic composer, producer and educator with a background in mathematics. She has contributed sounds and music to a range of projects including releases on NON Worldwide, Optimo Music, and AD93, installations for Hyperdub and the Nine Nights series at the ICA, scores for Channel 4’s short-film series Random Acts, and the forthcoming play James IV written by Rona Munro and directed by Laurie Sansom.

In 2018, she developed a “pirate AI” opera as a Fellow of CTM Festival, and led a workshop on radio transmitter building at Moogfest in North Carolina, titled Wireless Imagination and influenced by her fascination with the mythical and borderless nature of radio communication. She has also engaged in outreach, teaching workshops on music production and creative coding.In January 2021, she released her debut LP ‘Lux’ on AD93 Records.

“It is a great honour to be welcomed into the pantheon of Oram Awardees, and I am thankful most of all to Daphne Oram for her lightning vision and legacy, and also to the judges for supporting my work”

Photo credit: Karsten Buch